A Chill | Teen Ink

A Chill

December 29, 2022
By chenlyraliu BRONZE, West Lafayette, Indiana
chenlyraliu BRONZE, West Lafayette, Indiana
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I stride out onto those hardwood floors

A kingsnake mimicking courage.

The peppermint chill of epinephrine

Reels me back to center stage.

I gaze out upon expectant faces

An intimidating crowd of four,

Yet wish it were but a thousand strong—

The frightening less is more.

I sink to a bow while cold metal cuts

Four imprints into my arm,

Then rise and breathe in my pas de deux—

A fine-tuned scene of charm.

I nod to cue the delighted bells

As a fairy alights upon the string.

A millennium's collection of notes and tales

Lies in wait for my time to sing.

I dance in Oberon’s magic ring

For the enchantment of a page,

But as music engulfs my reverie,

My fingers fall into a cage.

I blink in horror as the chill returns

And the piano forges ahead.

The weight of the curtain falls over my heart,

And the violin betrays my dread.

The author's comments:

"A Chill" is a poem about overwhelming pressure. It describes stepping out onto a stage in a violin competition and finding that even years of preparation can be not enough; if there is a single flaw in the performance, everything can fall out of order. The only true remedy is true confidence.

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